Political Economists are Neither Selfish Nor Indoctrinated
23 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2001
Date Written: May 2001
Most professional economists believe that economists in general are more selfish than other persons and that this greater selfishness is due to economic education. In this paper we offer empirical evidence against this widely held belief. Using a unique data set about donating to two social funds at the University of Zurich, it is shown that economic training does not make people act selfishly. However, the 'natural experiment' supports the hypothesis that the different behavior of economists can be explained by a selection effect.
Keywords: Economists, Public Good, Giving Behaviour, Education, Selection
JEL Classification: A13, A20, H41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation